Potential customers sometimes ask whether Library Juice Academy is accredited. We have not sought accreditation by the IACET. We are taking the opportunity here to explain this decision.
The question about accreditation is based on expectations regarding university education, where regional accreditation bodies like WASC assure a certain level of quality in education, and MLIS programs, where the American Library Association grants an accreditation that is designed to define the standard of what an MLIS includes. In continuing education programs, accreditation is not important in the same way, although there is an accreditation body that is concerned with maintaining standards for Continuing Education Units (CEUs). That body is the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). They are responsible for defining the standards regarding how much work is required for one CEU, and standards having to do with management of CE programs. In some industries, continuing education programs are linked to IACET, and in others not. In our field, IACET has not played much of a role, although the American Library Association sought and obtained IACET accreditation for some courses in their CE program in 2012.
We have not sought IACET accreditation, although we are beginning to explore the feasibility of doing so. The reason for this decision is that the financial cost of applying for IACET accreditation is high, and amounts to a barrier for small organizations like us.
What we have chosen to do is to observe the educational requirements for IACET accreditation so that if and when we do apply, there will not be any obstacles presented by our curriculum. We feel that our good faith effort to meet the educational requirements for accreditation should provide some assurance of quality, in conjunction with course reviews from our students. We are confident in the quality of the education and training that our customers receive.
There may be some circumstances where IACET accreditation matters, however. Some librarians or library staff are required to earn CEUs or state-based units for their professional development, and in SOME cases, their institutions have requirements regarding accreditation of programs offering those CEUs or state-based units. If your institution requires you to take classes that grant credits that are for your state only, the CE program you choose has to be accredited by your state department of education, and is likely located in your state only. We do not offer any state-based units. If your institution requires your CE program to grant CEUs that are accredited by IACET, then our classes will not satisfy your needs. You will want to check the rules at your institution if this may be an issue for you.
Most of our customers are taking our classes solely for the knowledge they will gain from them, and are not interested in the CEUs. For them, IACET or state department of education accreditation is not really relevant. We include this information for potential customers who have questions about our accreditation status and may be curious about what accreditation means in the continuing education context. At some point, when we’ve grown larger, we might seek IACET accreditation, but at this stage it is not a possibility.